Readying Your Car for Summer

Readying Your Car for Summer - Ace Auto Repair in Kearns, Utah

With summer on its way, it’s time to start thinking about readying your car for the heat and all its glorious travel opportunities. With a little preparation, you can be ready for a spur of the moment weekend getaway, and have the confidence that your car will get you there and back safely.

Keep Tires in Great Shape for Hot Pavement Grip

Winter weather can be hard on tires. This is a good time of the year to do a quick check on your tires. This should include inspecting the tread and verifying proper inflation. Poorly inflated tires impact grip which makes driving feel more erratic, can reduce your overall miles per gallon, and can even lead to a tire blowout. Always check tire pressure with a calibrated tire pressure gauge.

If you live in an area that permits snow tires, now is a good time to change them out for your standard warm weather tires. Also, check up on your spare. Make sure one is present, the correct spare for your ride, and that you have the tools to put it in should a tire blow.  Nothing is quite as awful as discovering a missing jack at 3 am with a blown tire in the middle of nowhere.

Lubrication Keeps Pistons Pumping

Oil is another area that sometimes gets overlooked. Check the oil and adjust to suit the needs of your car. Your owner’s manual for your car will list recommendations for your climate. Warm oil is thin oil, and oil that is not thick enough won’t provide the lubrication necessary to keep your engine in good working order. If a dealership or garage does your oil change, ask after the viscosity of oil they are using to double check it’s the right version for your needs.

Keep Your Engine Cool in the Hot Sun

Overheating is a primary cause for summertime breakdowns. One great method to reduce the risk of this is to keep on top of your coolant maintenance. Your radiator should be flushed completely and refilled every other year and you should check the level, general condition, and concentration of the coolant once in a while between replacements. If you do the flushing yourself, dispose of the old coolant properly; it has a sweet taste that dogs love and it is highly toxic.

Transmission Fluid Keeps You Shifting Smoothly

You want to keep an eye on your transmission fluid levels as well. Too much or too little, and you will run into problems that can, over time, lead to costly repairs. Further, make sure you read your manual to determine the correct mix of transmission fluid for your car. The SAE number found there will determine the right ATF mix.

Signs of too much transmission fluid:

  • Rough shifting. It will feel harder to jump from gear to gear.
  • Slippage. The engine will rev but your car won’t respond.
  • Erratic behavior while shifting.

Signs of too little transmission fluid:

  • Failure to engage. The car will act like it’s permanently in neutral.
  • Slow shifting. A sluggish response between gears.
  • Lurching and surging. Picking up speed rapidly then dropping back down while switching gears.

Enjoy a Frosty Interior on a Blistering Day

On a swelteringly hot day, you want your A/C in good working order. If it’s not blowing a nice frigid blast through your car, you likely are in need of additional refrigerant. Ace Auto Repair can help charge your A/C if it’s not keeping you nice and cool.

Summertime Tune-up Kearns, Utah

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Don’t get stranded this summer on the side of the road with a smoking car. Bring your car into Ace Auto Repair in Kearns, Utah for a summertime inspection, and we will check every element of auto maintenance listed above.  Avoid summertime sadness and give your ride the basic service it requires to keep you on the road.

Beginners Guide to Radiator Flushes

radiator flush

What is the Radiator?

The radiator is one of those parts of your car that works quietly away without you every noticing…until it breaks, and then you really notice. This reservoir holds water and antifreeze to help keep your engine in tip-top condition. Engines create a ton of heat when they operate (and friction, but that’s a whole other issue), and that heat can quickly destroy them unless it’s cooled down. Enter the radiator, which draw heat away from your engine and protects your car from other temperature-related problems, like freezing during an especially cold night freeze.

However, radiators don’t run perfectly forever. Their contents can grow old and contaminated, which leads to problems. This is where radiator flushing can prove especially helpful.

 

What is a Radiator Flush?

Antifreeze, engine coolant, and all related liquids run in constant cycles through an enclosed system, so they can last a long time. However, constant exposure to your engine does take its toll. Over time, coolants grow contaminated with other particles and stop working as well, eventually endangering your engine with overheating and corrosion issues.

A coolant flush simply cleans out your radiator system and replaces all your coolant with a new version. Generally it takes place in several steps. The old coolant is completely pumped out, a cleaner is pumped into the system to help clean it up, and then new coolant is added.

What are the Benefits of a Coolant Flush?

Go too long without a radiator flush, and your engine could destroy itself from the inside out, overheating and causing that dreadful scenario where you are stranded by the side of the road with smoke or steam pouring out of your hood. But there’s a lot of other pertinent benefits too, including:

  • System Inspection: During a coolant flush, your auto mechanic will probably inspect your cooling system for any problems, like microscopic leaks, that you may not have noticed. This can help save you a lot of trouble down the line.
  • Freeze Protection: A flush before winter can protect your engine from freezing, especially if you have older antifreeze or have developed antifreeze leak that you don’t know about.
  • Overheating Protection: Similarly, replacing your coolant, especially before the hottest months, can help you prevent overheating before it even becomes an issue.
  • Reduced Thermal Stresses: Old coolant can increase the thermal stress that your engine endures, which usually happens at several different points where heat is concentrated. These areas of the engine are the first to get damaged by heat, but can be protected by encouraging uniform temperatures with free-flowing, new coolant.
  • Improved Cabin Heating: Your car heater draws a lot of its heat from the radiator to help maximize efficiency. The better your radiator is working, the more quickly and efficiently your car’s heater will work on cold mornings.
  • Removing Rust, Scale, and Other Problems: The inside of your radiator is not always a pretty place. Over time rust can become a problem and scale from mineral deposits can build up. A flush helps remove the problem.
  • Lubricating the Water Pump: Your engine isn’t the only thing that needs lubrication – your water pump needs it too. Flushing typically includes new lubrication for your pump.

 

How Often Should I Get a Cooling System Flush?

It can depend, so your owner’s manual will have the most accurate information on when you should get a flush. For most cars, it’s around 50,000 miles because it takes time for your coolant and antifreeze to develop problems, but they are affected by temperatures and driving habits as well as time, so some people may benefit from getting a flush more frequently.

 

Let Ace Auto Repair Handle Your Cooling System with a Radiator Flush

Take your car into Ace Auto Repair for a coolant flush, and you will get the ASE certified treatment that you deserve. Our technicians can offer free repair quotes for any problems that they encounter, and use mobile diagnostic testing for quick results. All work guaranteed with us, so take a visit to our website and see how you can schedule a coolant flush.